Cuba’s May Day march, which takes place in Havana, is the island nation’s largest, yearly event. Hundreds of thousands of people are organized to “celebrate” their socialist system. The government-hosted march normally goes off without a hitch, thanks to the large security presence that polices the event.
However, this past May Day was different. A brave protester managed to breach security and sprint his way to the front. The man, who’s identity reportedly remains unclear, was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Cuban flag. But as he cantered through the march, he waved a US flag. President Raul Castro and other political leaders watched (probably in dismay) as the young man managed to stay ahead of security agents until two plainclothes officers took him down.
The officers struck the protester in the face as shocked journalists watched the debacle unfold.
As reported, “Plainclothes officers struggled to control the man but eventually lifted him off the ground and hauled him away in front of foreign and Cuban journalists covering the parade. Two of the guards shouted ‘Long live Raul!’ and ‘Long live Fidel!’—Castro’s older brother and predecessor, who died November 25. One struck the protester in the face as he was carried past reporters.”
With Raul Castro’s announcing he would be leaving the presidency in February, uncertainty has plagued the nation—not just politically but economically as well. Cuba’s government, however, remains strong in their intolerance of protesters and political dissidents.
If the protester and those who came before him in 2015 are indicative of anything, it could be that change will someday come to Cuba.